There’s a reasonably well-justified tendency among anime fans to hastily dismiss the potential merit of any permutation of the whole “cute girls doing cute things” motif that’s so nauseatingly ubiquitous in modern anime. In recent times, we’ve had a spate of these lusterless shows - whether it be “cute girls climbing mountains!” or “cute girls that are actually anthropomorphic guns or something!” - and the results are nigh-invariably uninspired dreck that’s not worthy of anyone’s time. With this in mind, it’s only natural to approach the simple premise of “cute girls driving tanks” with caution. It is against all odds, then, that Girls und Panzer
manages to not only be worthwhile, but also one of the most consistently entertaining shows in recent memory.
Girls und Panzer’s story is a simple one. Schools from around the world compete in a sport called Sensha-do, or “way of the tank.” In this universe, "tankery," as it is colloquially known, is seen as a dignified martial art that helps girls hone their grace and femininity. Miho Nishizumi, the protagonist of this story, was a very capable captain of Sensha-do in her previous school, but due to a traumatic experience in the semi-finals of the previous Sensha-do tournament, she distanced herself from the sport by transferring to a school that doesn’t participate in the Sensha-do, Ōarai Academy. Unfortunately, her new school takes up Sensha-do soon after her arrival. Even more unfortunate is that the school council is aware of her accomplished past as a commander and coerce Miho into being the captain of this newly established Sensha-do unit. While the sheer implausibility and silliness of this premise can be seen as the show’s greatest detriment, it is simply a plot device necessary to get the girls into some tank battles, which is definitely where this show shines brightest.
The tank battles, simply put, are amazing. Takaaki Suzuki, the military adviser for Girls und Panzer, shows a great understanding of the ins and outs of tankery. As the rules specify, each tank needs to be of World War 2 vintage or older. These tanks are presented with great accuracy and attention to detail, each one having their strengths and weaknesses based on their real life counterparts. The battles themselves are often loosely based on real historical battles, generally involving Ōarai playing the underdog, and each one taking place at various unique environments. The many distinct and varied locations coupled with the accurate depiction of each tank lends itself well to some genuinely engaging strategies, both from Ōarai and their opponents, and are genuinely exciting to watch. As these battles are loosely based off historic events, many of Ōarai's schemes mirror well-known strategic maneuvers and consequently remain both entertaining and satisfying to witness unfold.
With that said, this is hardly a serious anime about battling tanks; the excitement incited during these battles is enhanced twofold by how infectiously silly and fun the different girl's personalities are. In stark contrast to their competition, the girls of Ōarai Academy are a convivial bunch. They paint their tanks pink, do an embarrassing dance to improve morale, and cherish friendship over winning the match. Cheesy, right? Well, it is, but the show embraces this cheesiness in a way that makes it feel genuine and endearing. What makes Girls und Panzer’s comedy so special is that it’s never afraid to laugh at itself and how preposterous its premise is. Each tank on Ōarai’s side has a team of operators amusingly framed around their unique clique. For example, one team is composed of gamers who approach Sensha-do in a similar way that one approaches a video game. Another team consists of history buffs who romanticize past historical battles and leaders, attempting to emulate them with their hilariously over-the-top antics. Ōarai’s opponents are similarly depicted as caricatures of their respective nations, such as the British team being refined in composure and perpetually drinking tea during the match, or the cocky American team that stoops to utilizing underhanded tactics. The battles contain a fair share of unorthodox stratagems that contribute to this pervasive sense of fun as well. Even when the girls of Ōarai are up against seemingly insurmountable odds, the show never loses touch of its deft sense of humor.
But Girls und Panzer isn’t all fun and tankery. During the time spent away from Sensha-do, the show does attempt to have a few more serious plot lines, which generally yields poor results. The show spends an inordinately long time attempting to set up its admittedly silly plot in a comparatively serious way, and falls flat on its face in doing so. Thankfully, this is only an issue for the first episode and a half, as the show picks up steam once it gets to the Sensha-do tournaments and generally takes itself less seriously. Due to the massive size of the cast, minor conflicts are dismissed almost as soon as they’re introduced. For instance, one minor arc involves a character who gave up the family business of arranging flowers to take up Sensha-do. This is met with harsh disapproval from her family, but is soon after entirely dismissed after her parents watch one of her matches. There isn’t any character development as the result of this, and the parent characters are never seen again in any meaningful context. It only serves as a shallow feel-good moment that slows down the momentum of the show. Most characters, while entertaining enough in the context of the group, are relatively two-bit and characterized solely by their unique quirk when looked at on their own merits. Miho is the only character to receive any real development, and even that plays out in a fairly predictable manner. However, these breaks from tankery only compose a very small fraction of the show. Most of Girls und Panzer’s episodes are dedicated to their engaging tank battles and, provided one is enjoying the ride, it becomes possible to overlook their fleeting, minor flaws in storytelling.
The animation and soundtrack are generally excellent and complement each other appropriately. The soundtrack marches with militaristic tunes that fit well with the action taking place on screen while the tanks are rendered using very detailed CG that looks great in motion. Unfortunately, some of the CG environments during the battles aren’t as well-realized as the tanks are, often appearing flat with repetitive textures. This is most apparent during the earlier episodes, where it’s clear that the production staff had a limited budget; CG heavy scenes are marred by a poor frame rate and the environments are at their worst. Fortunately, this is remedied as the show goes on and, by its final episodes, the show is an absolute delight to look at.
In the end, Girls und Panzer won’t make you re-evaluate the way you view anime or present you with a profound take on life, but what it does do is present a thoroughly entertaining and refreshing variation on the whole “cute girls doing cute things" theme. Despite its flaws, Girls und Panzer’s infectious silliness and engaging battle scenarios should have any viewer plastered with a permanent grin on their face, screaming “Panzer Vor!” for the duration of any given episode. It’s a simple pleasure, but one well worth the time.
Other then the whole high school girl club about tanks aspect, the story is not very original, but I never really based the quality of an anime on how original its is, just how well executed it is and the story for Girls und panzer was pretty well executed. There were several conflicts and issues in the story that developed through the anime that were paced well. I found the ending quite satisfying. The scenes are well written and the whole anime had a nice pace that was comfortable, but not too slow either. The dialogue is good, even though both can get really
really cheesy at times (good thing I like it when a bit of cheesiness is thrown in). If you're looking for a story that's fun, has lots of action, and about friendship with a little drama thrown in, then this anime might be for you.
I really like this art style. It was clean, simple, and smooth while being bright and colorful. It fits the light hearted feel of the anime. The tanks look great, but I not a tank expert so I do not know how accurate the tank designs are. What really impressed me about the art though was the backgrounds. The backgrounds have great detail, look good, and are some of the best I have seen. I hate it when an anime goes cheap on the background, so I'm excite that the Girls und panzer team put in the effort.
The anime focuses on building good groups and group dynamics. So none of the characters stand well on their own, but a tank in not operated by one person, but by a crew, so its cool that an anime about tanks focusing on the crew's overall personality rather then spending airtime focusing on each character that should be spent focusing on the crew being together. A lot of the characters are simply following their archetypes, so their not very original, but that is okay since they display their archetypes so well and in such a light hearted humorous fashion. I was surprised on how much I cared about the characters from the rival schools, since they didn't have a lot of air time, but they were snuck in here and there which helped with the continuity. So overall I really like the characters in Girls und Panzer, but I could how someone else could justify not really liking them at all.
The opening and ending theme are okay, but the background music is one of the anime's strong points. It just fits the anime so well.
The music, the tanks, the tournament, the school clubs, everything in Girls und Panzer makes for a great atmosphere. I fell so alive when the military parade music comes on just at the right time. I don't know very much about tanks so I don't know if the battles are realistic, but I love them. During episode four I was like “how are they going to get out of this” like three times and they kept on surprising me. I was so excited.
Girls und Panzer is lacking in a few parts, but I found the anime overall to be quite humors, cool, and sweet. Girls und Panzer can also be quite funny at times too. If your into tanks, sports animes, high school club animes, cute high school girls, or animes about friendship then you might want to give Girls und Panzer a try.
“A strong, but delicate art that aims to make women more polite, graceful, modest, and gallant, both on and off the battlefield. To learn tankery is to armor the heart of a maiden, the soul that embraces and burns with femininity. Intense and strong like a tank's iron. Cute and lively, like the clattering of its track. And finally, passionate and precise, like its main weapon. If you train in tankery, you will become a better wife, a better mother, a better student, and a better worker. You will become healthier, kinder, stronger, and men from all over the
world will fall to your feet-”
Well, if that's not the most hilariously nonchalant, yet enticingly charismatic recruitment narrative I've heard for anything, ever, much less tanks. Sign me up- Wait a minute. I'm a man...
Girls und Panzer was directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and scripted by Reiko Yoshida. Character designs were done by Humikane Shimada. Produced by Actas as this studio's first independent work, we follow the story primarily through the perspective of Miho Nishizumi. Strong-armed by the Student Council into joining Ooari's revived Tankery elective, Miho Nishizumi finds herself responsible, as the only individual on her team experienced with Armored Fighting Vehicle, or AFV, strategy and tactics, for leading her friends and other saps excited by the prospect of operating tanks, gaining credits, or becoming better women, to victory in the national Senshado tournament. If not, there's always next year, right? Why is Miho so knowledgeable about tank operations to begin with? Speaking of which, why is she, a Nishizumi no less, a familial relation to one of the oldest and most feared Senshado think tanks of Japan, here in Ooarai to begin with?
I'm going to make this point clear: “Girls und Panzer” is not a play on “Girls und Pantsu.” Director Mizushima made in emphatic that he would tolerate no panty shots in his series. In fact, outside a couple of onsen scenes, which, aside for some minor cleavage, are rather tame in any event, there's little to no overtly skeevy fan service in this show at all, however cynically exploitative one may conceive the concept of female adolescents juxtaposed to military hardware. For all intents and purposes, Girls und Panzer is a show about girls and panzers, a show that combines slice of life and tank battles, and you know what? It works.
How? Because of how seriously and seamlessly the show engages in both premises, provided that people are willing to suspend their disbelief about the absurdity of teenage high school girls driving steel ton AFVs. Particularly pressing is the willingness to tolerate this show's usage of moe. Moe is a far encompassing term, but the majority of the anime community outside Japan's come to associate it with cute and often underage members of the female sex. In this context, moe in shows carries with it a rather negative connotation of shallow, white-knight fetishization when relied upon as the primary draw. To juxtapose full-on moe next to weaponry is another fetish entirely, and I don't fully disagree with that assessment. It certainly has some truthful merit, but it's also lead to an unfortunate overgeneralization that any show that contains cute girls and slice of life is meant to be fap material for pedophilic shut-ins. To characterize that stereotype to Girls und Panzer, I have one thing to that.
In context, this series has shown that it is perfectly mature enough to use both to drive part of its narrative and add depth as well as charm, because at the very most, it is only used as an element, and one that isn't imposing at that. Some of this medium's most universally celebrated shows have incorporated elements that are, without a doubt, superficial, and yet they remain lauded by many, because they were more than just that. Girls und Panzer should be considered no differently.
Slightly less pressing, but still of utmost importance to understand is that, beyond rejecting or even merely tolerating this show's mainly predominantly female and adolescent cast, this fact should be taken with sensible humor. It's a universe where entire cities are straddled on giant aircraft carriers, where Senshado is a martial art, a pastime, and a sport where in-universe precautions are taken to ensure that casualties are rare, where the tank crews are staffed entirely by women because it's considered a womanly pursuit. Instead of scrutinizing on how situating cities on ships are possible, harking on tankery as a sport is stupid because it's dangerous in real life, becoming indignant on how it's making a derogatory statement of propaganda towards men, ask yourself... Does it matter? Is it explained in context? And honestly, do you think the staff, who happen to be filled with male individuals, is going out of their way to say that women are better than men, potentially alienate the very demographic that they know would make up the consumer base for their DVDs and BDs? It's funny, and it's even more so because the cast takes the world they belong to and the sport they participate in seriously, like it's a natural thing because to them, it is. That doesn't preclude taking everything this series has to offer with a grain of salt, only that we manage to see events from their perspective. By extension, it also applies to the other competitor schools, whose tank commanders are defined by nationalistic traits similar to the ones in Hetalia, though with more nuance and less homo, enough to be amusing without immersion-breaking.
Also an absolute joy, at least for similarly interested minds like mine, are the seamlessly integrated historical references scattered and layered throughout the series. If no one caught on to its invocation earlier on in this review, the original utterance of “Nuts” was a famous response uttered by an embattled American general to his German counterpart regarding the latter's demand to have the Allied command stranded at Bastogne surrender during the Battle of the Bulge. Interestingly enough, the show makes that very same reference in Episode 9. If I was a girl in Ooari High School, I'd definitely would have found myself riding along in a StuG III. I'm a history enthusiast and war buff, and to pick out how much effort was spent in integrating these references into the show is outright outstanding. These references transcend not only utilize words; they transcend them. As samples, Episode 5 delves into the effect that intelligence gathering and deception has determining the currents of battle. Episode 6 goes into a totally fitting monologue on the history of the American M4 Sherman tank. Episode 9 demonstrates Soviet T-34 tank strategy in action and highlights the importance of morale during armed engagement, and Episode 11 makes a subtle reference to the Germany's lightning armored mobilization into the heart of France, bypassing the heavily fortified Maginot Line using the thickly wooded Ardennes Forest. Hell, one of the characters is based off Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
A delight for tank aficionados and a great source of tangential learning from everyone else are the tanks themselves. While originally made for anime goers, overtime, it's gotten attention and praise from many tank fans as well. Going so far as to hiring a military expert to advise its creators during production, this show has taken great pains to make sure each tank looks and runs as authentically as can practically be, from the stops of a Type 89 to the rivets of a Panzer IV. Some liberties no doubt were taken for entertainment value, such as tread speed and pressure fatigue, but, for the most part, it was dead on. The series goes so far as even to even illustrate the drawbacks of individual AFVs, such as the Type 89's pathetic show of firepower against most of its contemporary armor and the Porsche Tiger's awkward tendency towards engine malfunctions.
But how do these tanks look when animated? Fantastic. CG has always been a tricky technique to incorporate within cell, but here, not only do the tanks look absolutely fluid, rendered in CG, on the move, and scenic, rendered in cell, when they aren't. Not a significant detail is lost during these transitions, all of which to make the show that much more thrilling to the pupils. This isn't even mentioning how amazing the muzzle flashes, dust clouds, smoke screens, and shell bombardments look. In fact, the show's art, from the backdrops and set pieces, to the lighting and shading, are all just sights for sore eyes. And, for what it's worth, I think the character designs aren't half bad either, once you get used to them.
The tanks might look nice during a fight, but how's the actual fight itself? Rather than simply piling one bigger spectacle after another, the show goes out of its way to use strategy and tactics, the actual strategy and tactics of tank warfare to move the currents of battle from one point to the next. Offense vs defense. Open field vs urban combat. All-out assaults vs hit and run strafes. Team Formations. Rear Guards. Positioning. Scouting. Decoys. Feints. Traps. All of these maneuvers and more are utilized, taking into account mission objectives, area surroundings, general, specific, and overall tank characteristics, the most innovative of them responsible by Ms. Nishizumi and her knack for bold, unorthodox, but nonetheless wildly creative and effective solutions. That doesn't go to show everything she does is brilliant. She, as much as the other tank commanders, have their shares of brilliant moments and demoralizing blunders, but unlike the others, Miho, like all great and potentially great military leaders, is able to adapt to the fickleness of the battlefield and, with a little luck, turn temporary setbacks into permanent victories.
Like candy, constant excitement proves tiring to audiences after a while of non-stop consumption. One answer to this dilemma is greater and greater amounts of spectacle to keep them interested at that same level. It gets to a point though where the previous spectacles become harder and harder to top, to the point that the next attempt might either end up a dud because of desensitization or be so ridiculous that it breaks immersion. Sole dedication to this method is especially troublesome for a series whose spectacle relies on some realism, like Girls und Panzer's tank battles. The other answer then is to generate pacing, to allow the audience to have lulls in their action so that the next action sequence that comes about feels that much sweeter to people. Girls und Panzer is an excellent example of good pacing, and it all stems from its slice of life. The show begins in media res, the hook, where we get a tempting taste of all the tanks rolling along. Then, we start at the top, getting grounded into the characters, the setting, and the situation, building up for another climax all the while. We get a match, then we get a break with the characters. We get another match, fight and flight, then another, rest and digest, one climax after another, until we get the final one and we're blown off our rockers, pumping our fists, gasping for breathe because of what was just witnessed, and it's significant because it's the first time those reactions happened with this much intensity. First times, just by their inherent nature, can be really intense.
Now for the characters. Being that it is but one cour, the show can't afford to linger on any one person for too long without ruining battle momentum, considering how many of the girls take up the screen. Outside of Miho then, it relies on a principle that shows should be following more in the first place: “Show, don't tell.” Compared to other series, Girls und Panzer has much less verbal hand-holding. Off the field and especially on it, each vignette of these characters doing something carries with them precious statements that speak volumes about them on their own: their personalities, their proficiencies, their interests, their aspirations. Granted, outside of Miho and perhaps her personal tank crew, all four of these aspects are relatively simplified, but, using inference, they are simplicity thoroughly defined, and above all, a unifying message between all of them gets across. The message is especially poignant in Episode 5, where the Student Council shows Miho their memories of Ooari using a photo album. They never explicitly say that they love their school, but that right there is more than enough to convey to the audience, or at least to me, how much it means to them. This method of narrative also extends beyond to the plot, the tactics, and the tanks as well, so that not a single moment is wasted trying to explain something the viewers can contextually figure out on their own. None of it feels contrived, and you know what? I appreciate that the staff assumes us, or at least the majority of us, as intelligent enough to do some mental legwork.
For what it is, the character depth is fine the way it is, and any further fleshing out is better off relegated to future sequels. That being said, I do have one complaint about the characters in regards to their friendships, particularly the main heroines. It's a criticism that's more valid in the beginning, and it might be just my cynicism or ressentiment talking. They're a bit idealistic. To create such fast and true relationships with people to the point they are willing to give up their preferred elective and stand up against the Student Council with you despite having just recently met... I end up asking myself: Why have I never met friends like that? In addition, some of the character drama could be better executed, like Hana Izuzu's for example, as some of it seems rather sudden, even taking slice of life into account. That being said, both issues are far from enough to be a major detriment. I guess predictability in terms of storytelling and character development also may be a drag for some, but I've always considered the means rather than the ends to be something I take to heart more.
On the music side of things, I won't deny I'm rather partial to marches. Lighthearted yet prideful, dignified yet stirring, pompous yet boisterous, combined with the fact that they comprise the most memorable portions of the OST, original scores and borrowed ones, British, American, Russian, German, I found myself stomping my feet to them in rhythm fairly often. But more than how I like them on their own, I love how they are used in tandem with the show's visuals. Since there's only so many I can talk about, I'll try to keep examples controllable. My elation was rather high, for instance, when an abridged version of “U.S. Field Artillery March” by John Phillip Sousa was playing alongside a formation of moving Shermans. Then there's a lovely band arrangement and seiyuu vocal chorus of the popular folksong Russian “Katyusha” by Mantei Blanter and Mikhail Isakovsky to a mobile spread of Soviet armor. It's quite likely that some of the pronunciation may have been off, but from what I could tell, they tried rather earnestly to come close, and regardless, the singing's outstanding. Unfortunately, it was cut upon official release to international audiences due to private domain issues. Lest I forget is the anime original “Senshado March: Panzer Vor!” and its melodically constant derivatives by Shiro Hamaguchi. A love letter to of everything great about military marches, the steady cadence of snares and horned bass, the bombasts of cymbals, the blasts of trumpets, the tight, orderly frivolity of the piccolo, it's a wonderful piece that stands on its own to the classics.
I'd be remiss to forget discussing the OP and ED, so, being obviously J-Pop, how do they hold up? For J-Pop, they hold up pretty well. The OP, Choucho's “Dreamrider,” incorporates a nice rhythmic riff at the beginning and end reminiscent of march cadences, but it otherwise uses electric guitars, electronic synthetics, and drum sets, and the art and animation, scenic and fluid, outside introducing tank teams, hold no illusions in emphasizing what's given from the title. And yet, through, once again, a great use of pacing both from the great vocals and engaging visuals, everything feels very dynamic, like, suspension of disbelief withstanding, it's going somewhere good. The ED, “Enter Enter MISSION!” by the seiyuu of the main heroines, can't help but be incredibly charming in how competent, enthusiastic, and earnest the singers are, despite the sappy atmosphere. Plus, the visuals consist of chibi versions girls of the various Ooari armor crews riding in super deformed versions of their tanks. You'd have to be a pretty jaded and bitter anime fan not to crack a smile at that.
Overall, once one gets used to the aforementioned concerns, Girls und Panzer is a fun show that, while not incredibly “deep” or complex, should be given credit as much for its technical precision and narrative intuition as well as its terrific music, its played-straight humor, its abundant historical references, its smart, well-paced, and exhilarating tank scraps, and yes, its cute, but never quite fetishized, high school girls.
Something that I have discovered whilst watching Girls Und Panzer is that trying to convince people that it is genuinely a fantastic show is nigh on impossible. I don't blame them, if someone had told me before I watched it that I'd be rating it an 8 and calling it a highlight of the year then I would have greeted them with a doubting look, wondering whether they were joking or whether they just had bad taste.
It's obvious why there's so much doubt, it's the premise. Cute girls driving tanks immediately brings up memories of shows of "cute girls doing cute things" or of "Cute
girls doing [insert unusual activity here]", both have which rarely produce anything other than mediocrity at best. With this overwhelming abundance of poor shows, the ability to believe that Girls Und Panzer could be anything other is incredibly difficult.
Believe me though, Girls und Panzer is really the diamond in the rough.
The natural question here is what sets it apart from the rest? To put it simply, it is its comedy, its earnestness, its action, but above all its execution.
Girls und Panzer is a show with a ridiculous premise and setting, the show acknowledges this and embraces it to deliver great comedy. No matter how ridiculous the happenings or plot points, like friendly tank battles being held in town centres, or a man thinking it's good luck that a tank crushed his shop, it plays it straight and just lets you enjoy it, without it pointing the joke out to make sure you got it. It mocks clichés by putting them into stupid contexts and then blowing them completely out of proportion. There will always be something there to make you laugh, the humour of the show is very consistent, and though it's not the biggest draw of the show, it's what helps to make the show so enjoyable.
The characters are incredibly likable and work perfectly within the context of the show. There are a large number of characters, but every single one, whether it be someone on the Panzer squad or someone on the opposing team, will bring a smile to your face at some point. These aren't deep characters, but they don't need to be, they often have stupid and ridiculous traits, but that's the point, whether it be the girl who also sits on her lieutenants shoulders to put her above everyone because she's got a complex about being childlike, or the vice president who's usually calm and collected who goes crazy when she's battling in the tanks, they bring enjoyment by being so stupid.
The really surprising aspect about Girls und Panzer is how realistic yet still ridiculous the tank battles are. The people who choreographed the battles obviously knew the tanks involved inside out, providing startlingly realistic battles, all whilst the tanks are running around coloured bright pink or with Edo period flags. The battles are amazing in how much the intelligence of the realism and tactics conflicts with the bizarre and absurd nature of events. You will be entertained, and there is sometime genuine tension in the battles, especially the later ones. The animation of the battles improves greatly as the series progresses, in earlier episodes the CGI looks awkward, but by the end it's much better and used very well with solid animation, providing fast exciting action. The camera angles are done very well, particularly in the last showdown where I can only say they were perfectly done.
The animation as a whole started off fairly average, but as the episode count increases it's obvious that the budget increased significantly, by the end the animation was excellent, it's visually appealing and there are no mistakes or off model characters. The soundtrack was strong on the whole, with some great military marches and themes that really added to the scenes and battles. The voice acting was strong, making sure to keep everything straight (and often hilariously over the top) so that the humour was conveyed correctly. The opening "Dream Riser" is an uplifting track which suits the series well, and the ending "ENTER ENTER Mission" is generic but rather catchy.
Overall, I'm not saying that Girls und Panzer is the best show out there, but it executes what it's trying to do flawlessly. The show plays everything so honestly and with such earnest that you cannot be cynical about it, but wish to enjoy the show like it wants you too. This show is really the height of entertainment, and during the weeks that I watched it, despite myself I grew to love the show more and more.
You may still be doubtful that Girls und Panzer is the brilliant show I'm painting it to be, but I whole heartedly recommend you go and give it a try, as it really is pure and enjoyable entertainment at its best.
This was better than I expected. The premise on this series is battles between groups of tanks as an after school club. In this crazy world, this is treated just as another sport which contributes somewhat to feminity. (I wonder what the hell would boys do, given the proper atention by the series: ¿kill each other?, ¿learn to cook?).
Art gets pretty interesting when tanks are battling.
All related to tanks is ok and even seems well documented, but the slice of life with stribes on the girls seems to pale a bit in comparison. Take for instance a moment at episode two or three when the
girls hang out together: one girls wears contact lens, another has some utillage in her backpack, and when you think a dialogue will burst out... the scene ends. At least there's almost no slice of life, as this is mostly about battles.
It is obviously impossible to show a development for three to five girls in each of the five tanks (twenty people, if I recall). There are brief stories for three of the main girls. The story involves mostly a world competition.
Music could have been way more epic. Cute versions of belic themes are ok but not awesome. Check, for instance, Strike Witches OST. I would remark: the anglerfish dance and the russian song.
The tank action.
They take this crazy world so seriously that it seems plausible.
The twelve episodes seem to be not enough: the show even skips one of the matches, just showing the resolution (seems it was later made into an OVA).
Too much miraculous shot evading gets notorious. Play a game of tanks and do as they do: you will get blown in three seconds.
A particular scene in Girls und Panzer always struck me as the most beautiful thing animated. Reizei Mako is a loli with black hair; she wears a white headband and goes to school. The problem is she’s often sleepy and is always late for school. The other members of the cast are worried because they need a teammate for their panzer team (more on that later). Mako is perfect for the role of the driver. But once again, on the day when she is needed, she is still sleeping in her comfy bed. Nishizumi Miho, the protagonist, with her brownish-orange hair decides to wake her
up osananamiji-style. In the early morning, cuckoos and alarm clocks cry out to wake Mako up. Yet, she is still asleep. Miho drives a panzer and shoots a bullet into the sky, waking Mako up from her dreams.
This is the ingenuity of Girls und Panzer. It is the ultimate form of cute girls doing cute things; it’s self-aware of its silliness and plays on it.
In the setting of Girls und Panzer, Sensha-do or Panzerfahren is considered a ladylike sport. Flower arrangement is one thing, but driving panzers is something else. It apparently makes you a strong, independent female. A competition of the best schools with panzers is held. It is where Girls und Panzer takes its ride to us.
Fusing the sports and cute-girls-doing-cute-things genre, this show takes its absurdity to the max. It is comparable to a flat-chested-lesbians-playing-mahjong anime titled Saki and a certain scientific work. You know they’re slice-of-life. However, these shows don’t pretend they’re intelligent. In Garupan’s case, it has girls driving panzers. It’s silly plus intense.
And it knows how to make the work intense.
When the tournament starts, you are immediately diving into a battlefield of panzers shooting left and right. One of the greatest things in Garupan is its sound design. Its quirky anthem-like soundtrack coupled with the noisy sounds of bullets shooting and tracks rolling create this jarring (and hilarious) sensation that war can be amusing. Think back to your war movies. While there are films like Full Metal Jacket that are funny, they haven’t played on the fact the act of war itself is funny. Few works have done that and this silly anime is one of them. And to do it mostly by sound is a giant accomplishment. Try turning off your video feed: you would still feel the greatness of Garupan. The sound design adds to the epic scale of these battles and it’s something worth commending for.
During these battles, Miho stands out as an incredible protagonist. In sports works, we always get the hot-blooded shounen (who’s probably a bishie). Sometimes, we get the overpowered character who can summon the winning hand with 1MP. Not Miho. She’s just smart and can adapt to anything. Her tactics, just like the show, are ingenious. Who would have thought of tank drifting? Miho, of course.
But inside these panzers are girls and girls like cute things. Director Mizushima Tsutomu (Joshiraku, Another) likes cute girls who like cute things. He knows that this show needs some breather episodes. They’re not actually fanservice, but they are showing us the world-building in Garupan. Yukari, a giant panzer geek, brings the cast to a shop dealing in panzerfahren items. We get the cute-girls-doing-cute-things antics here. Instead of getting turned off, people will find it too surreal (and therefore, enjoyable) seeing these girls get excited about panzers.
This makes me wish more people should pick up this masterpiece. It reminds us entertainment is just as artistic and creative as artsy animes. A giant world waits for us despite being inferred in a mere twelve episodes. It’s a refreshing look on how the cute-girls-doing-cute-things genre can change. So grab the Commie subs, some popcorn, and cry out these two words: “Panzer vor!”
~Multilingual review, English & Español: Girls und Panzer~
Nowadays "Cute girls doing cute things" have become an unwritten genre, or better, a keyword that open a window through which we can imagine completely how it's going to be an anime, even if our knowledge about it are pair to zero, we could almost go far and state a "first impression" derived only by hearing those words. We tend to imagine a group of cute girls doing absolutely nothing, actually only cute things, or engaged in some particular activity, sometimes that unusual that we could consider them totally out of ordinary or from what we could call
Usually "cute girls doing cute things" type of anime aren't serious ones, mostly comedy or Slice of Life, but there are sometimes that some of them breaks this, almost, rule. The good thing about them is that you could enjoy watching an unusual activity being done by a group of cute girls, and this time I came across something really particular... girls and tanks!, and believe or not, this was quite different from the ones I've watched before, this anime shown a great quality, unexpected differently from a "cute girl doing cute things". You won't find only cute girls driving tanks, in this show there's actually a deep and accurate understanding about tanks, actually this feels that different that there're hardly scenes portraying the typical cliche scenarios.
Fanservice is absent, there are no beach episodes, no thermal waters episode, no Cultural/Sport Festival, no pool episode, any kind of cliche scenario or situation that could expose the girls sex appeal are absent. There aren't fanservice yuri undertones and the girls never groped each other... I was quite surprised, as well as glad, and then again, quality was shown, this anime totally focused on what we came for: awesome battle with tanks.
The story revolves around "Sensha-dō", literally translated as "the way of the tank", and the girls who practices it. What would be that?, -Sensha-dō is the martial art that strives to nurture polite, graceful, humble and brave maidens-, or in other words: Tank warfare with girls!. With that said, the story begins with the new Oarai High School transfer student, Nichizumi Miho, our protagonist, a Sensha-dō veteran by then retired from the battlefields due to a traumatic experience in a competition. Oarai High School distinguish itself from not having Sensha-dō classes.. or so Miho thought, but as soon as she arrives the student council decides to take it up and participate in the National Sensha-dō Tournement. After the initial dubious state, Miho decides to give another chance to Sensha-dō, and along her new inexperienced teammates, the National Tournament awaits, meanwhile unknown for our protagonists but no for us, the viewers, their School is about close if they don't win.
As you've probably realized, the story is quite simple and originality isn't by their side neither, there's practically none character development. If you ask me why such a high score for this anime, I would reply you with three strong points about it:
2- Really likeable group of characters
3- Focus on important things, leaving cliché and fanservice totally outcast
Even if I tend to like anime with more complicated plots, twists, ect, I need to say that Girls und Panzer "plot development" was carried in a wonderful manner, each episode was focused on the girls training, the realization of plans and strategies for the next battles, bonding, a quick but well done focus on the principal characters, and finally, great tanks battles filled with real accurate "tankery" and details, that's why I listed between the strong points Sensha-dō, which doesn't refer only to the presence of tanks in the anime, it represents the quality of the show itself.
"Sensha-dō isn't War!"
It's a sport, and like every sport, there are rules to follow. I'll now explain briefly in what consist this sport and it's basic rules, just in case you were wondering how and why girls practice such dangerous activity, rest assured, this is actually a well planned sport, in correspondence to the quality level of this show, quite high:
- Tanks admitted in battle are need to be prior Second World War.
- Shells are designed so that they can't penetrate the tanks's armor.
- Black boxes are equipped in order to declare the tank out of game wherever it's damaged by the counterpart.
There are two kinds of Sensha-dō matches, "Annihilation" and "Flag". Just like it's name suggest, the first one consist in immobilize all enemy tanks by first, and the second one, Flag, consist in immobilize the enemy's Flagtank by first. Finally there's a restriction rule for the amount of tanks allowed in the National Tournement by each team, First round up to 10 tanks, Semifinals up to 15 tanks and Final up to 20 tanks. The matches are always 1 Team VS 1 Team.
Our protagonists teams, the Oarai High School team, consists of 5 tanks, later upgraded to 8. The characters operating them have their very own charming and characteristic, quite difficult to mistook one team for another. We've the protagonist's team operated by Nishizumi Miho, who acts as the Commander, like previously said, she's the only experienced one, the Loader, Akiyama Yukari, a tank otaku girl and the most charismatic character in the show, the Gunner, Isuzu Hana, a quite composed and high leveled head girl, the Driver, Mako Reizei, a quiet and gloomy girl but with a kind heart, and finally the Radio Operator, Saori Takebe, a girl who aims to be popular by any means. The other teams are operated by: the Student Council, since taking up Sensha-dō again was their idea, another group consists of History fanatics, each one personalizing a famous past leader, another one consists of Tank Warfare Online gamers, and going on, the variety is assured. I won't write about all of them since the risk of this review becoming really large is quite high, but they are sure a bunch of mixed personalities.
When it comes to Animation and Sound this show couldn't offer for better, battle scenes are done excellent, even the CGI scenes were awesome and flowing, the designs were highly detailed and pleasant for the eyes, and I'm not talking only about the tanks design, also the environment and the battlefield were realized quite well. The Sound was something great, the OriginalSound Track was composed mainly by militaristic tunes quite adapted to harmonize the events in the show, and yet they had an unique but cute charming tune in them which totally fitted also the most passive scenes. They ranged from typical American military tunes to Russian ones, there were also Italians ones!. There was also a very nice musical arrangement of the popular Russian song "Katyusha", fitting the parade of the Soviet Team.
Girls und Panzer is totally not your typical "cute girls doing cute things", it's technical and accurate understanding about tanks make this anime quite enjoyable, and surely, over the top compared to other anime with similar themes. Brilliant execution and development of Battles, along with a fantastic OST, great Animation and whiteout forgetting, a nice crew of High School girls, this anime surely deserve such a high score in my opinion.
Hoy en día "cute girls doing cute things" se convirtió en un género de por sí, o mejor dicho, una palabra clave que abre una ventana a través de la cual nos permite, completamente, imaginar como sería un anime aún si no tenemos conocimiento alguno sobre ellos, podríamos ir lejos y decir "una primera impresión" derivada sólo al escuchar esas palabras. Tendemos a imaginar un grupo de chicas empeñadas haciendo absolutamente nada, de hecho sólo cosas lindas, o en otras ocasiones empeñadas en actividades así de particulares que las podríamos considerar fuera del ordinario, o de lo que podríamos llamar "aceptable".
Por lo general "cute girls doing cute things" tipo no son serios, principalmente tratan comedia o Slice of Life, pero hay ocasiones en las cuales esta, casi, regla viene infringida. Lo bueno de este tipo de series es que puedes llegar a disfrutar viendo actividades muy inusuales hechas por grupos de chicas, y esta vez me tope con algo bastante particular.. chicas y tanques!, y créanme o no, esto estuvo bastante diferente comparado con las series que he visto antes, este anime demuestra una tremenda calidad, inesperadamente diferente de lo que se espera de un "cute girls doing cute things". Aquí no encontrarás sólo chicas conduciendo tanques, en este anime hay de verdad un conocimiento profundo y meticuloso sobre tanques, de hecho esta serie es tan diferente a lo normal que no hay casi escenas mostrando el típico cliché.
El fanservice queda excluido, no hay episodios de playa, no hay episodios de aguas termales, no está el típico Festival Cultural/Deportivo, no hay episodio de piscina, todo tipo de escenario cliché o situaciones que expongan el sex appeal de las chicas fueron excluidas. No hubo yuri-fanservice y las chicas nunca se tocaron las unas a las otras... Quede sorprendido, al igual que agradecido, y repito, la calidad se hizo notar, este anime se dedicó completamente a lo que habíamos venido a buscar: buenas peleas de tanques.
La historia gira entorno al "Sensha-dō", traducido literalmente como "la vía del tanque", y las chicas que lo ponen en práctica. De qué se trata?, -el Sensha-dō es la arte marcial que se empeña a cultivar educadas, graciosas, humildes y valerosas doncellas- o en otras palabras: Guerra de tanques entre chicas!. Dicho esto, la historia inicia con la nueva estudiante transferida de Oarai High School, Nichizumi Miho, nuestra protagonista, una veterana del Sensha-dō, ya retirada del campo de batalla debido a una experiencia traumática en una competición. Oarai High School se distingue por no tener un curso de Sensha-dō.. o eso Miho pensaba, no pasó mucho antes de su llegada que el consejo estudiantil decide iniciar un nuevo curso e inscribirse en el torneo nacional de Sensha-dō. Después del inicial rechazo, Miho decide darle otra oportunidad, y juntó con sus nuevas compañeras, del todo novatas, el torneo nacional les espera, mientras que desconocido para las protagonistas pero no para nosotros espectadores, su escuela irá en la ruina si no consiguen ganar.
Como probablemente habrán deducido, la historia es bastante simple, y la originalidad no está siquiera de su parte, tampoco hay desarrollo de personajes. Si me preguntan porque una nota tan alta para este anime, te respondería con sus tres puntos fuertes:
2- Un grupo realmente agradable de personajes
3- Enfoque total en las cosas importantes, dejando cliché y fanservice completamente fuera
Aunque sí tienden a gustarme anime con una historia más complicada, llena de twists, ect, necesito decir que el desarrollo de la trama de Girls und Panzer fue llevada a cabo de una manera excelente, cada episodio estuvo enfocado en el entrenamiento de las chicas, la realización de planes y estrategias para las próximas batallas, al desarrollo de grupo, a un rápido pero eficaz acercamiento a la vida de las chicas, y finalmente, geniales batallas de tanques, llenas de detalles realmente precisos, fue por eso que la agregue el Sensha-dō entre los puntos fuertes, el cual no se refiere solamente a la presencia de tanques dentro del anime, más bien representa la calidad del mismo.
"Sensha-dō no es la Guerra!"
Es un deporte, y como todos los demás, hay reglas que seguir. Ahora explicare brevemente en que cosa consiste este deporte y sus reglas básicas, sólo por sí estas curioso como y porque estas chicas hacen una actividad así de peligrosa, pero sin preocupación, este es un deporte planeado en el más mínimo detalle, el cual corresponde al nivel de este show, bastante alto:
- Están admitidos sólo tanques precedentes a la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
- El proyectil está diseñado en modo tal que no penetre la armadura del tanque.
- Cajas negras son instaladas con el fin de poner fuera de juego un tanque que ha recibido daño por el enemigo.
Hay dos tipos de encuentros en el Sensha-dō, "Aniquilación" y "Bandera". Justo como de puede deducir de los nombres, el primero consiste en inmovilizar todos los tanques enemigos por primero, y Bandera consiste en inmovilizar el tanque-bandera por primero. Por ultimo hay una regla que pone un techo al número de tanques que se pueden usar en el Torneo Nacional por cada equipo, el Primer Round permite hasta 10 tanques, la Semifinal permite hasta 15 tanques y la Final hasta un máximo de 20. Las batallas son siempre 1 Equipo VS 1 Equipo.
Nuestros equipos protagonistas, el equipo de Oarai High School, consiste de 5 tanques, después agrandado a 8. Los personajes que los operan tienen su propio único carisma y características, imposible confundir un equipo con otro. Tenemos al equipo protagonista, operado por Nichizumi Miho, como dicho anteriormente, es la única veterana del grupo, ella hace de Comandante, después tenemos al Cargador, Akiyama Yukari, una chica Otaku de tanques y la más carismática del todo el show, el Artillero, Isuzu Hana, una chica bastante madura y compuesta, el Conductor, Mako Reizei, una chica callada y algo sombría pero de corazón amable, y por último el Operador Radio, Saori Takebe, una chica que busca ser popular a cualquier costo. Los otros equipos son operados por: el Consejo Estudiantil, dado que fue de ellas la idea de iniciar con el Sensha-dō en su escuela, otro grupo consiste en fanáticos de Historia, cada una de ellas esta metida en un comandante famoso del pasado, otro grupo estaba formado por gamers de juegos sobre tanques Online, y vía diciendo, la variedad está asegurada. No escribiré sobre cada uno de ellos pues el riesgo que esta reseña se convierta en algo bastante largo no es poco, pero les aseguro que se trata de un grupo compuesto por una complicada variedad de personalidades.
Si venimos a la Animación y al Sonido, en este show no pudieron haber de mejor, las escenas de combatimiento fueron hechas excelentes, al igual modo también las de CGI, que fueron de verdad geniales y fluidas, el diseño fue altamente detallado y agradable a la vista, y no estoy hablando sólo de los tanques, también el ambiente y los campos de batalla fueron realizados bastante bien. El Sonido fue algo especial, las Original SoundTrack fueron principalmente de tono militar, adaptas completamente a armonizar con los eventos que sucedían en el anime, y aún así llegaron a tener ese tono "lindo" que acompañaba las escenas más pasivas. Abarcó desde tonos militares típicos Americanos a tonos típicamente Rusos, hubieron también algunos Italianos!. Estuvo presente también una muy buena adaptación de la famosa canción rusa "Katyusha", la cual acompaño la avanzada del equipo Soviético.
Girls und Panzer no es mínimamente el típico "cute girls doing things", su tecnicismo y precisión en materia de tanques y combatimiento lo hicieron demasiado entretenido, y seguramente, lo colocaron en un podio más alto comparado con otros anime de similar contenido y temas. Brillante ejecución y desarrollo de batallas, seguido delicadamente por una fantástica OST, Animación genial y sin olvidar un muy agradable grupo de chicas, en mi opinión, este anime de verdad merece esta nota alta.
“Girls und Panzer”, Girls and Tanks (Panzer - taken from the German language), can be considered as one of the few anime which truly sticks to the title. At first glance, it can be said that this show is all about ‘cute girls competing each other with tanks’. To some it may sound amusing, while for others it might seem as another tedious work.
The anime is set in the future (some few decades from now) where tanks are obsolete and are at girls’ disposal for honing their skills in Sensha-do (Way of the Tank). We have our protagonist Miho Nishizumi, driven from her past
traumatic incident, transferring to Oarai High School. Coming from a family renowned for its Sensha-do, Miho is immediately beguiled by the student council into joining Sensha-do. With an example of Bushido (Way of the Samurai) Sensha-do is introduced here, which is depicted by this show quite fairly.
Coming back to the story, Miho who has joined Sensha-do is teamed up with the four deuteragonists. With the forming of rest of the teams the student council aims for the championship title, which will be held pretty soon. Oarai High School or moreover the student council has taken the initiative of starting Sensha-do again after a 20 year gap due to certain circumstances. From here on the story continues on showing the hardships met by these girls and how they make their way through each victory.
As far as the story is concerned, Girls und Panzer is as passable as any other mediocre anime. Now that being said, there is a ludicrous element in the anime which needs to be brought into light. To my knowledge, one needs to invest an ample amount of time in honing his/her skills to operate a tank, which is attained here by the girls quite effortlessly. Yeah, practice sessions are held here from dawn to dusk. Nonetheless, this is no feat one can achieve by practicing a month or two. Another surreal situation I came across whilst watching the show – they were allowed to continue their fights in a residential area and the girls were left unscarred even after getting a direct hit. I was completely dumbstruck after watching this and I don’t think there is a need for an argument here.
As much as ‘Girls und Panzer’ lacks in the story, it offers a pretty commendable work in the art section. The animation is the most appealing aspect of this anime. Bright and colorful surroundings along with well sorted out landscapes adds up in making it livelier. There might be some dubious stunts performed, however that will be overlooked by intense and fluid action sequels. Praiseworthy here is the detailed and intricate design given to each tank. You will be able to easily distinguish each tank from a far distance. One might even say that maximum amount of time was invested on tanks, as they are one few things this anime has to offer. Character designs are well done. Each character is clearly defined with a different hairstyle and color helping us in easily identifying them.
The main characters are the only ones you can look forward to. Each of them is given a background, but not to the mark of your satisfaction. The problem of having so many main characters is that they need to have a story to fill in their past. Then again providing a story would mean extra episodes, which is not an option here. All the side characters are present just to fulfill their purpose in the story. However there is a certain degree of calmness or you can call it “moe-ness” that will make you feel relaxed. The amalgamation of cute characters and good VA make them adorable to look at.
It takes a lot of effort in making the sound quality as good as the animation. Many anime fail to deliver that satisfactory mark and this one partly does the job. Each shot from a tank is clearly audible and the engine sound of each tank is distinct enough to be told apart. A good sound in coherence with interesting action scenes makes it a deserving watch.
The seiyuu did a pretty good job, albeit having very little to adapt from their roles. The OP and the ending themes are good as well, and do contribute to the ambiance of the anime.
‘Girls und Panzer’ is an anime you should consider as a light watch. Expectations from the story will leave you disappointed and when you, on the other hand, have nothing to expect from it, you will be astonished by its detailed art and good action scenes. If you are willing to cast aside your affection for a good story, then you might end up having a fun time.
Hope you liked the review. Please don’t refrain from pointing out any mistakes (either grammar or argument).
One of my older reviews that got removed. Back for your amusement.
Today we look at one of the silliest anime to come out in recent years! Girls und Panzer ist ein anime about frauen zat drive panzers! Each Panzerbesatzung (tank crew) consists of little moe girls that make otaku go "awwww". There is also lots of ww2 tank porn that appeals to armchair army geeks that have played WAY too much World of Tanks and now consider themselves military experts.
The plot is that tank combat between teams is now a sport, and girls rather than guys are the primary participants of this activity.
This plot will no doubt remind older anime fans of "fighting robot sports" anime like Zoids Zero and G Gundam. The problem with this besides the obvious safety issues, is that WW2 tanks were extremely different in quality and purpose. If one team is using tanks so shitty that they can't possibly win, than it defeats the purpose of a sport. A team using Japanese model type 95s wouldn't be able to put a dent in a team using Panthers, and their armor would be shredded like wet tissue paper. It would be exactly like Jesse Owens racing against President Roosevelt. Tank warfare in WW2 actually boiled down to boring logistics and things like manufacturing cost, fuel efficiency, ease of use and requisite training hours. That is why tanks like the M4 Sherman and especially the T-34 were considered the best of the war. They could be made at a 5:1 ratio against the massive German tanks like the Tiger, but still had decent quality, were easy to use (especially the T-34), and didn't drain fuel as badly. None of this is adequately captured in G&P, where each team uses roughly equal numbers and has the same amount of fuel and training hours. With these conditions the team using logistically terrible but awesome 1 on 1 tanks like the King Tiger would just win virtually 100% of the time.
The characters are largely uninteresting moe jailbait. The show should have educated viewers by having all the girls named and modeled after famous WW2 tank commanders. I would love to see a "3 Stooges" dynamic between Patton, Zhukov, and Walter Model. That would have been hilarious! Guderian should be the main character, who is totally brilliant, but a vain asshole completely indifferent to any suffering around her. Think Dennis from Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Guderian is on a team with the morally dubious Von Mannstein, the flat out evil Model (whom something bad happens to in every episode), and Rommel (who is the only likeable girl on the team along with being the comedy "straight man". Rommel is always trying to apply for a transfer. Our team is up against the American team led by the foul mouthed Patton, who is a few cards short of a full deck, as well as the amiable and frustrated Eisenhower, who is forced to deal with Patton's bullshit every episode. The Soviet team is led by Zhukov, who is a brilliant general, but her school's principal Mrs. Stalin is always giving her idiotic orders. Most of her crew are poorly trained to utterly incompetant, so she resorts to drinking...a lot!
The soundtrack largely consists of ear grating, high pitched, school girl renditions of WW2 songs like Katyusha and Panzerlied. Thank fucking GOD we didn't have to hear a school girl rendition of Horst Wessel Lied. That song makes my blood boil when it isn't being sung by obnoxious little girls!
This anime had an interesting idea and could have appealed to history fanatics MUCH better than it did. Unfortunately, I don't think it was well executed and ended up being forgettable and mediocre rather than brilliant insanity like it clearly wanted. If the studio ever wants to make a reboot, I would be more than happy to helm the project. As long as I can get WW2 historian David Glantz to be the series narrator.
First of all, I know the series isn't fully out, but this is what I've gathered from what I've watched.
I'm impressed with the way the Panzer IV Ausf. D and the StuG III looked. Was also great see the M3 Grant (going off of the Lee having 7 crew members and the Grant having 6, but that could be developer oversight or crew shortage) and Panzer 38(t) getting some love. The sounds are also decent, not quite there, but that'd ruin the atmosphere of the show.
Character design and story are lacking, but its your typical moe blob, so thats that. But as the later episodes
come out, the story may or may not improve. Hoping they'll explain how they stay safe inside the tanks while they are shooting AP and worse case APCR rounds at each other. And non-penetrating rounds could still cause spalling, and that's almost worse than getting penetrated.
Also since they've show M4 Shermans and the Panzer VI Tiger, I wonder how long they're going to have the 75mm/L24 (Since it wasn't designed for tank killing), and upgrade to the 75mm/L43 or L48.
But only time can tell how the rest of the show is going to pan out, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next episodes. I'll probably do another review at the eighth and twelfth episode marks. Till then~
Girls und Panzer is a running joke that never delivers its punch line, and that is why the show is a masterpiece. One its surface, Girls und Panzer appears to be another ‘cute girls doing cute things’ anime with the cute thing this time being riding and fighting tanks. That’s the joke. The underlying premise is so ridiculous and absurd that you can’t not find it funny. However, this anime will play it straight faced for all 12 episodes, but it’s still a joke. This anime enrapture you with breathtaking tank battles, clever comedy and surprising drama, but it’s still a joke. The fact that
Girls und Panzer transcends the joke that is at the core the anime into an amazing show makes this a must watch for those who love anime and especially those who love good storytelling.
Girls und Panzer’s biggest strength is its tank battles. The battles themselves have good pacing that allows for the creation suspense that feels appropriate and adds to the entertainment value. Because tankery is a high school club in Girls und Panzer, it comes with rules in its conduct and victory criteria. These rules are simple to understand, internally consistent and clearly allow for upsets to occur. These rules allow the viewer to understand what the girls are trying to achieve in their battle plans and make the upsets that do occur completely believable. The tanks themselves are historically accurate. Tanks with heavy armor will have tank rounds bounce off, but they will also be slow because of that armor. Many of the WW2 era tanks are showcased at some point in the show and tank buffs will enjoy looking for their favorite tanks.
The main characters are solid, though they do not stand out compared to other anime. But with Girls und Panzer’s focus being the tank battles, the main characters are developed well for the time they have and do add to the show. The side characters are ridiculous, but the show is inherently ridiculous so it doesn’t feel odd. They do add a spice to the show that is enjoyable to watch, especially in the first few episodes. The other teams represent various countries in both the tanks they use and the stereotypes of the people on it. Those characters are always fun to watch in the brief appearances they make.
Girls und Panzer also resonates with me for personal reasons. My job is to command tanks in combat. This anime is able to capture the trill of firing the main gun of a tank and how awesome it is to maneuver tanks against an enemy force. Fighting in tanks is fun (at least in war games), and this anime shows that. It even shows how much it sucks to fix a tank when breaks down in the field.
While I understand that not everyone will love this anime as much as I do, I’m sure that most people will enjoy watching Girls und Panzer and have no regrets doing so.
at first you're like dude why should I watch it and your friends are like just do it and you give in because peer pressure and you're like that is pretty decent i should watch the next one and you keep going and they're drinking tea in the middle of battles and singing war songs and putting pillows in their tanks because why not and this is such a ridiculous premise but they take it so seriously and you're writing run-on sentences because these characters are so great and the battle march starts playing and Miho screams PANZER VOR and you're
hooked and there's no going back.
Guter Tag allen von Ihnen, sorry about that I still have that German thingy after watching the last 2 overdue episode of this 12 episode anime, and btw I hate the way studio Actas have to delay it for 2 months. Ok so now this anime has come to an end, how do I rate this anime?
Story: Schön 6.
The story plot was very simple yet entertaining, there isn't any profanity nor does it have any violence, the whole plot revolves around the girls of Ōarai Girls Academy who are member of the newly revived sport called "Sensha-dō, " as well as the life
of one particular group of friends who was headed by Miho Nishizumi as they go through a lot of struggles in winning the Sensha do national tournament. Yet, the story is also about some trivia about the tanks that were involved in this anime.
Art: Ein 3.
I have no qualms about the tanks illustrations, in fact the way the tanks were drawn are with in the realistic concepts of what they look like during World War 2. So the rating was for this anime's design of the character's which the heads are way too big for the body.
Sound: Schön 6.
I'd say that I like the opening and closing themes, but I do have concerns about Hana Isuzu's seiyu, Mami Ozaki, Yukari Akiyama's seiyu, Ikumi Nakagami, and Kay's seiyu, Kawazumi Ayako, the said character's seiyu just don't have that youthful tone in fact they sounded like Milfs than teenagers.
Character, enjoyment and overall: Gut 7.
I guess you might say that the character's though awkward by design do have their cutsy side especially when it involves them supporting each other, though there was that moment that I would have wish for Miho to reprimand Anzu for keeping a secret at first. The enjoyment part was the tank battle where nobody dies, since it was suppose to be a wholesome thing, so overall this anime was wholesome enough to be watch by anybody who doesn't mind an oxymoron combination of something sweet with controlled violence, thought a PG rating should be in place for kids who are 11 and below.
The MAUS or "Panzerkampfwagen VIII" never entered combat service, after the war the only 2 prototype were captured by the allies. The tank itself was a technical failure from the beginning since no there are engine available to power it.
Legendary tank general Heinz Wilhelm Guderian once oppose the construction of new heavy tanks like the Tiger I and II due to it's cost and impracticality and instead favors the construction of massive numbers Panzer IV tanks.
Both Tiger I and II have proven to be prone to certain types of track failures and immobilization, and limited in range by its huge fuel consumption.
German tank crews would sometime mount tank tacks on the sides of their turrets as added protection against anti tank guns.
Soviets would hurl molotov cock-tale behind tank's turret as a way of immobilizing a German tanks, since it is often where the engine exhaust and ventilation systems are located.
The Soviet T-5455 was the most produced tank during the cold war.
The used of smoke to confuse German Armor was employed by American tank divisions.
The Flak 88 was initially designed to be uses against aircraft, eventually it was Field Marshall Erwin Rommel who thought of using it against allied tanks during his North African campaign , which later on, led tank designers to mount it in a Tiger as its primary armament.
Girls und Panzer. I never thought I would be attracted to an anime where there's no boy, I mean an anime that seems to be for girls. After watching some minutes, I saw that it has a male demographic in mind.
Honestly, i firstly watched this for the beautiful artwork, and thinking there will be some fanservice, and now i'm following this for other reasons. Believe me, this is REALLY addictive.
Story - 7 (x1.5) : Girls fighting with tanks, what an original and strange idea right? What miss in it, is the development. Let me explain : in any sport anime you'll see that
: a meeting of several people who, by building strong relationship, decide to participate in a tournament. Panzer is not sport, it's art. Maybe that explain the reason why they can fight in a town and even destroy houses with tanks fire haha. No seriously, if the development had been as original as the main idea, it would have been really great.
Art - 10 (x0.5) : The strong point in this anime. No details was forgotten, backgrounds are one of the most beautiful and detailed i've ever seen in anime. Tanks designs are great, and fighting with them in the snow was incredible for the eyes. I read that they used sophisticated software programs to synchronize the snowfall with the rest. Even without being connoisseurs, you will recognize the beauty of the artwork.
Sound - 9 (x0.5) : Nice sound adaptation. I like the sound during fighting scenes, which mixes the old side of the tanks with the suspens of the fight. I was really impressed by the Russian songs too.
Character - 6 (x1.5) : Not so developed. The main protagonist is your average cute & shy girl, with sides sometimes delirious, and is pratically the only one that the anime is developing. The second one that have caught my attention is Mako Reizei. His personality is really funny, but as i said, the anime is too much focused on the main character, even if you have some 'sides' stories with 2 or 3 others, like Hana Isuzu and her floral arrangements that causing troubles with her mother. But that's where they failed : If you want to develop a character, do it entirely. It would have been great to have a little more development on some secondary characters.
Enjoyment - 8 (x2) : I can not give below 8 with all the impatience I have between two episodes. This part is more personal, anyway I think anyone can really enjoy it like I am. Fights are well done, even if you can be sure of the final result of every fighting scenes (or maybe not for the final fight, wait & see). Suspens is not really intense, but still exist. You can have some laugh at some character's reaction too.
Overall - 7,5 : That fresh idea mixed to a beautiful artwork, sound, and some cute characters is really enjoyable. This anime is definitely not only for girls, even if it has this word in the title.
'Will you sacrify your team-mates to reach victory?'
'Are the traditions of family so important that you should consecrate all your life to it?'
These can be questions that this anime raise.
I avoided the anime for some time because title sounded like the anime would be cheap and awful.
Well it is a cheap anime but not as awful as I though, but it's bearly decent.
There is good graphics and a bit of humour, that's it.
If you're looking to watch a brainless show like you'd watch an action movie, this is pretty nice.
But it's a very long action movie, a repetitive one.
There is almost no story.
character have as small backstory about carrying family tradition but god it's unrealistic and poor,
you learn a bit about tank names, although tank battle and strategies are completely ridiculous.
The only original thing
was the humour between girly girl driving tank, but hey everything said on episode one.
I think it would do a decent 1h30 movie. But 13 episode of that, i should have dropped.
I only watched this anime because of communism memes... So I didn't had any expectations. When I first started watching the anime I was like tf is this cute anime girls driving CG tanks. But as the story progressed I started to feel really happy while watching it for some reasons. And I realized I didn't have that much fun for a looong time.
ABOUT STORY (8/10)
The story is pretty basic, tank driving is amazingly popular among schools and only girls do that, then they compete each other in tournaments etc. But there is so much soul in it and that makes you think yourself as
one of the characters from the anime and eventually you enjoy it so much!
ABOUT ART (10/10)
The art style isn't like most of the modern animes so you may find it weird but IMO this style is the best for an anime like this. And about CG's they are really helpful to see the tanks/matches from different angles and that helps you understand better.
It's just amazing lol.
Characters aren't really extra ordinary but the way they put them in the anime like they are actually real is amazing! Even though the anime is focused on tank matches they also show you everyday problems of the girls and that really helps you understand and empathize them.
It's been a long time since I was this excited and happy while watching an anime.
Anime allows for many different combinations since what we view on-screen doesn't necessarily have to be ground to reality. In that regard, when you mix together cute girls riding in tanks, you get the anime known as Girls und Panzer.
Girls und Panzer stars Miporin, a young girl who just transferred to a new high school and, upon enrolling, she is enlisted into the "Tankery" elective due to her supposed background in the field.
What I found the show did nicely was its world-building. They actually introduced some interesting concepts regarding the use of the tanks and the lore behind
them. Much of the information regarding the tanks seemed to be at least legitimate or researched, and because of this, it allowed you to take its focus on the tanks seriously. As for Tankery, I felt that the "game" they created was well-thought out and explained nicely over the course of the show.
Many of the episodes focus on the battles that occur instead of on any actual plot. However, when they do try to inject some drama, it feels rather forced and out of place. Perhaps the problem was mainly due to the overall upbeat nature of the show. It doesn't take itself overly seriously, but when it tries to, it does not do a very good job.
Thematically, its main message is about how one goes about doing the thing they love. That is, everyone has their own style of doing things. I felt that the way they handled this was okay at best. I think the biggest problem is that the "enemy" in the show is never quite concrete enough in order for there to be any significant push-back. There is impending doom introduced later on in the series but it isn't tangible enough to feel like a threat to the characters and the plot overall.
Surprisingly, the animation for the show is very good.
Characters move fluidly and in detailed ways. The tanks, likewise, do not actually seem out of place even though they are CG.
The show also did its best with cinematography, such as when placing the camera beneath the barrel of the tanks or from certain character perspectives.
To be honest, the animation reminded me a lot of Highschool DxD; the show is generic looking but its animation is nicely done (for whatever reason).
As for the art style, it was fine. It is nothing good nor bad, just satisfactory. I would have enjoyed more environments for the tank fights than given (less forests and more desert/swamp/mountainous), but the ones they showed were still fine (inner-city, snowy, etc.)
This show has a lot of characters. Because of this, many do not get much screen time at all. And along the same note, that means hardly any of them see actual character development. Because of this, you do not care much for the characters present.
That being said, they are all very cute for who they are. While trope-y, you like the emotionless Reizei, the mother-like Isuzu, and boy-loving Saori, etc. Even the other minor characters, such as the girl who always has one eye shut or the ever studious hall monitor. Having a cast of over 20 or even 30 characters, there is bound to be something for everyone.
All that being said, they do try to explore at least the main cast. Again, much of this development feels underwhelming and is lumped in with the melodrama that it tries to present. The problem with the show is that it really isn't looking to have complex characters at all. Its main focus is the girls fighting in tank battles. While I am perfectly fine with this, I still wish there would have been some meaningful growth with any of the cast.
The OP and ED were too generic for my liking.
However, the rest of the soundtrack was nicely done. This is mainly because of the ideas at play. That is, with the tanks and WW2 aspects, the pieces of music incorporate drums and trumpets that very much remind you of war. The soundtrack does a nice job of setting the mood, and in that regard I applaud them for it.
As for the voice acting, I found the roles to be fitting for the characters with no standout performances.
This is a show that you really just watch to have a little bit of fun. The girls themselves are nothing like those from Monogatari or Nisekoi where they are either extremely well developed or incredibly likable. Instead, they are cute girls doing what they do best. And that is participating in a game that involves shooting tank missiles at one another. It can be funny at times and while the tension it stages is never overwhelming, they do a nice job of trying to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat.
When it comes to Girls und Panzer, if you are looking for deep characters or a compelling plot, then you are looking at the wrong show. However, if you just want to sit back, relax, and watch girls drive some tanks, then this is the one for you.
Story: Fine, world-builds nicely but not much else
Animation: Great, fluid character movements and well done tank battles
Characters: Bad, cute girls but nothing more to them
Sound: Fine, OP and ED forgettable but the soundtrack is not
Enjoyment: Fine, cute girls plus tanks is somewhat fun to watch
Girls und Panzer is an anime from Actas Studio. What's that? You've never heard of Actas? Well, that's not surprising. They mostly do in-between animation and other secondary animation work for larger studios. The only anime I've seen, besides this one, where they were the main force is Tales of Phantasia. One other odd thing to note about this anime is that the series came out at pretty much the same time as the manga rather than one being based on the other. Well, let's take a look at Girls und Panzer and see how that worked out for them.
Our story opens at Oarai girls'
school, where they're reviving the ancient sport of tank fighting. Where was that when I was in school? Young Nishizumi Miho is told in no uncertain terms to take it as an elective, the student council isn't that clear on what the word "elective" means, since she's the only one in the school with any experience. She initially declines but gets coerced into doing it. As the only experienced person on her team, Miho is quickly elected to the commander's role and she has to win the national competition for reasons that I can't go into without giving spoilers. The problem is that the school's equipment is not the best out there, they're under-manned and most of the team is comprised of newbies. Does the premise sound familiar? Let me rephrase it a bit. "A group of underdogs have to win the championship title at *insert game here*." It's the basic plot of virtually every sports film ever made. To be fair, there are some differences, and not just those based on the fact that the sport in question is fighting with tanks. There's a greater emphasis on tactics, there's no montage and the team isn't made up of a bunch of social misfits who come off as complete losers. So, while the plot is pretty typical in a lot of ways, it does offer something different. This anime also has some really funny aspects, one of the big ones being that one of Oarai's tactics is to send a small and maneuverable but under-powered tank to troll the enemy. It's both really funny and tactically effective. I really only have two problems with the series. The first is that the opening is weak. They start out with the girls first battle and flashback to how they got started, presumably to build intrigue, but it doesn't really work with the tone of the series. Which is an issue with the first episode as a whole. My other issue is just with the length. The story pretty much has to stick with the bare minimum since there are only a dozen episodes. For the time they have, they do do a really good job but they could've used four to seven more episodes to further develop things.
Moving on to the characters, there's an unruly number in this. Just the Oarai team has thirty-two members by the end and there's not nearly enough time to give most of them even minuscule levels of development. Honestly, it seems like an odd decision. They're clearly not operating under the rules of reality. They could've just said "in this universe the tanks are modified so that they only need one or two people to operate them" and kept the number of actual characters much lower. It would be far from the most unrealistic thing in the anime. That being said, I do like the main cast. They're a fun and very entertaining group. I even like Saori, in spite of her annoying me at times. And they do do a pretty good job of giving most of the major re-occurring characters a sense of personality, even if they can't do a lot.
The art in this looks pretty good, overall. The tanks are really well drawn. The action sequences are excellent, especially the last one. There are a lot of nice details in the background. The character art is kind of a typical moe style, but it looks fine.
The cast in this is pretty good. Particularly Iguchi Yuka, Fuchigami Mai and Nakagami Ikumi. Which is pretty impressive when you consider that two of them have very few roles. I'm pretty sure the Russian that's used at one point is way off, though. I really liked the music in this, especially the triumphant Panzer driving song.
The yuri factor is a 3/10. There are some scenes that could be read that way, especially the one where Miho tells her tank's crew that she loves them, but there's nothing definitive.
And that's Girls und Panzer. It's a fun little anime with some good characters and great tank fights. It's not an accurate depiction of panzer warfare by any means, but it is highly entertaining. 8/10.
Moe is a unique genre that only exist in Japanese entertainment. It has such a different nature, which makes the shows really difficult to evaluate: If we compare the plot with shows such as Death note... 0/10, If we compare action with shows such as Attack on Titans... 0/10.
But is it fair to ever look at shows like Girls Und Panzer on a critical stand point? I think not. It is not what the creators are trying to achieve, it is not what audiences are looking for either, at least they aren't supposed to.
I guiltily admit Girls and Panzer is actually the one
and ONLY Moe show I have EVER watched in my life time. My judgement on it is purely based the little information and knowledge I obtained from some research I did through Google. Any constructive criticism is welcomed and will be greatly appreciated.
STORY (Concept 4/5, Development 2/5)
The only reason I decided to watch the show is because... TANKS! This is one of the few complete original ideas I've seen in recent years. In this world, girls driving tanks is a competition/art just like how we look at Karate and Swordsmanship. Different schools from different nation compete in bombing others just for the sake of entertainment! How is this not interesting??
Sadly, the way they interpret the show is really... Boring. It is a super basic tournament process where the protagonists beat up various enemy and try to become the champion. Not a single unexpected element. Not even one.
The story runs like a general, one-after-another competitions with occasional development of friendships within the teams and a little bit of background stories mixed in. I'd say this is the superb boring version of Prince of Tennis.
But again, this is Moe. This is what the story is supposed to be.
CHARACTERS (Design 5/5, Development 2/5)
The characters in GUP is a prime example of quantity over quality. There are at least twenty girls I can identify with at least one line of description.
This is including but not limited to the following: The try-hard protagonist, the brainless hyperactive, the big nice sister, the quite, smart one and the geek. In addition, stereotypical girls like the Americans, Russians and Germans all have their distinct personalities.
Are the characters cute? yes they are. 10/10
As far as the personal development, I acknowledge that each character received at least 5 mins of background story which certainly deserves some credit. None of them are interesting/exciting. The characters did change their attitudes and way of thinking, tho on a very minimal level. Miho for example, starts with doubt with herself, but eventually believes in the power of friendships. Cliche, but at least there is some development.
All in all, the characters are... many. And they are all different. That's good enough.
GRAPHIC (Art 4.5/5, Animation 2.5/5)
I must say I am very impressive by the art. The character design are very generic. But when I look closely I realized none, absolutely none of the 20 major characters has identical eye or hair shape. It only show that the production team actually put some effort into those character designs and that should be appreciated, I think.
The background... is meh. They look quite good, but really lacks detail and aristic element. too many random colors mixing up to form the landscape and the buildings are sometimes recycled art as well. But since the background barely has any screen time, thanks to the extremely large head those characters have, I'll let it slide for this one.
Animation in this anime is passable. All the tank scenes are fully render in 3D, but not in great 3D. The special effects are also mediocre. Occasionally the tanks make some seriously impossible/funny moves that make them look like bumper cars in the amusement parks rather than tanks... But it does its job as a Moe anime.
SOUND (OP/ED 2.5/3, OST 3/3, Audio??)
NO NOT WATCH DUB. NO. They sound like mid-age moms trying to speak in little girls' voices. The dialogues aren't properly translate either, phrases such as "I'm glad I was able to make friends." are literally everywhere. Just who on Earth says that?
The Japanese is much more pleasant...
The Opening is great. They are actually quite memorable and catchy. With the cool little moe tone, it does enlightens my heart a little bit. The ending... Aside from the awfully accented English, is also fine. Perhaps it is just me first time looking at Moe songs so they are pretty memorable.
The OST are freaking AWESOME. They have this glorious feeling mixed with happy, light melody. It is very well done, very fitting and memorable. On top of that, they add stereotypical but classic songs such as Katyusha which are really unique and mood boosting.
It did make me smile a lot, the characters are quite cute. but knowing the ending before the second episodes and the general feeling of wasting time is kinda... boring?
I believe. I believe this is a well made anime with everything needed to make a interesting moe series. I would probably not watch it unless I feel absolutely bored and needs some time to kill. It is fun little series and it certainly enlightens my mood.
In the very distant future, Sensha-do (Way of the Tank) is considered a traditional martial art for young girls, it is a way to build character, relationships, and attitude. Miho Nishizumi, youngest daughter of the famous Nishizumi Tank Driving School, transfers to Oarai Academy to escape the world of Sensha-do. Once she arrives however, she discovers that the program is being revived, and she is pressured by the student council to join. The story follows Miho, and her friends as they scrounge up tanks, hone their skills, and enter the world Sensha-do championship. In the world of “Cute Girls
Doing Military Things”, this is the middle child between Strike Witches and Upotte!. Panzers plot is not as complex as Strike Witches, but it doesn’t suffer from shifts in tone that plague it’s older sister. The tone is light, the girls are never in any danger, and it’s treated more like a serious sporting event than an all-out conflict. The majority of the series takes place during the tournament, so the plot, however simple, is kept in focus at all times, unlike Upotte! where it takes a back seat to slice-of-life. Overall, the story is focused, but not overwhelmingly so, the plot is simple, but has 1 or 2 curves in it to keep things interesting, and most importantly, it actually drives the series. Good Work.
While this series, like its sisters, has a multitude of characters, it keeps the family tradition of having all of them characterized. Oarai fields 8 tanks by the end of the series, each one operated by a social club or group within the school. The Volleyball Team, Auto Club, Hall Monitors, Student Council, and History Club each have their own tank, as well as a group of 6 young freshman, 3 girls who met online playing World of Tanks, and Mihos group. With so many characters, you would be forgiven for maybe mixing a few of them up on screen, but this WILL NOT HAPPEN. Each girl is given her own personality, quirks, voice, and way of acting both within and outside of the group. The main group consists of Miho, the meek and quiet leader of the group, Mako, the anemic driver who believes that “Mornings should not exist”, Saori, who just wants to find herself a handsome husband, Yukari, the tomboyish tank otaku, and Hana, the quiet child of a famous florist. Add in characters like Erwin, the WWII buff who commands the StuG, Katyusha, leader of the Russian team with a serious Napoleon complex, and Anzu, the childish Student Council president, and you have a real recipe for fun on your hands. However, with the series being so short, and having so many characters, screen time is going to be limited, and you find yourself wishing that your favorite character had more exposition.
Ok, ok. I know 9 is a little high, especially when some consider the art style to be a little dated. But my god, do those tanks look beautiful. Accurate moving parts, tread movements, barrel lengths. All the tank designs are beautifully accurate and realistic. Every single battle scene boasts high production values, fluid motions, accurate recoil, realistic speeds and maneuvers. The battles are just top notch. Whoever did the 3D tank renderings on this show did an amazing job, serious kudos to them.
Nothing really special here, they’re a little better than average, they’re catchy, but nothing that will get stuck in your head for hours at a time. They’re both upbeat and airy, they work well with each other, and the animations during them are fluid and fit the music.
Battle Hymn of the Republic, Katyusha, British Grenadiers, Erika, Panzerlied, these are just some of the musical jems we are treated to during the course of the show. Add in a handful of marches and melodies furnished by the studio, and you have the perfect soundtrack for watching a few dozen tanks face off while cute girls are at the controls.
Overall for WWII Buffs and Tank Lovers: 9/10
Overall for Everyone Else: 7/10-
While it may be a cop-out to score this series this way, it’s very true. It was recently pointed out to me by a non-“WWII Buff/Tank Lover” that they enjoyed this series less than Upotte! because in Upotte! the girls were personifications of the guns themselves, making for a learning experience. By getting to know the girls, you learned the quirks of the guns, their unique traits, their roles. This is absent in Panzer. All the tank info given is spoken in dialogue by the characters, and the Tanks don’t particularly match the personality group that operates them (Notable exceptions; the History Club and their StuG, The Auto Club and their Tiger(P)). Basically, if you’ve come in knowing nothing about tanks, this is an enjoyable ride that has some thrills, great characters, and truly funny and unique moments. However, if you can tell your T34s from your Panthers, you’re going to absolutely adore this series.